Jeff B. lives in Wisconsin, USA. He was 61 when he was diagnosed in August, 2015. His initial PSA was 5.50 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 7a, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.
I'd been going to the doctor religiously every year for annual checkup. Last May the dr. noticed my PSA was creeping up. It was around 4.5. He wanted another test in 3 mos. So we did one in August. And, yes, it climbed another point. He referred me to urology surgeons and radiation drs. to hear their side of the story. I immediately ruled out radiation as that meant approximately 40 total trips to the clinic and I am not one for many many trips. Also, I actually was intrigued by the DaVinci robot method. I decided on the robot method of removal. They wanted to do it right away, but being an outdoorsman, I told them quality of life meant more to me....and NOT knowing what else could arise after prostate removal, I wanted to postpone for a couple months till after the beautiful fall weather and hunting season. They were good with that, as long as I did not go more than 3 months. I had the removal done December 4, 2015. As I reported to the doctors, it was "a piece of cake". I still believe that. The actual surgery went like a breeze, I was in the hospital 28 hours. Home care went very well, the catheter care was minimal. I worked my self up the day of catheter removal, I do not know why, I was quite nervous. (After going through the surgery, WHY?) Catheter removal is a breeze. NO PAIN, NO DISCOMFORT WHATSOEVER. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THAT! Now, I actually MISS the catheter! It was a help.....not having to run to the john all the time. I am having a bit of an issue with incontinence, but that should get better. I had my first, 6 week checkup with the doctor yesterday. PSA was "0". The only "issue" the doctor told me was this: the cancer had "poked its head" outside the prostate. So, he removed tissue around the prostate and also some lymph nodes. They tested negative for cancer, so that is a good thing. He wanted to make it clear to me about this "head poking" issues as it COULD be an issue in the future, with cancer showing up somewhere else. As with almost all cancers, I accept that possibility of future showings. Did the postponement of prostate removal give the tumor time to "poke out". The doctor feels no, this is not the issue. I am very happy I did the time frame as I wanted, I am good with that. Having lost a wife to breast cancer and seeing her go through multiple sickening chemo and radiation treatments that burned her esophagus so bad she needed a feeding tube inserted through her stomach, I stress quality of life as number one! I have to have PSA checked every 3 months for this year, then every 6 months for 2017, then yearly if it does not rise. All-in-all, everything is going quite well, life is good.......
Its been 15 months since robotic prostate removal. Life is good. PSA levels remain nil. ED can work on the brain. I feel it is very important to deal with it in the sense that "Life IS GOOD". And try to move on. I am back to doing everything I did pre-surgery, other than sex. Contemplating trying Muse penile depositories as I am queasy to try the self syringe-injections. Incontinence is only an issue (minor at that) upon drinking too much coffee, or in the evening a couple alcohol drinks. I got to remember NOT to drink much at all a couple hours before bed. I feel very lucky to have had this issue brought to my attention with only the annual doctor check up and elevated PSA counts, which lead to biopsy and subsequent cancer detection. I am 62 now, looking towards 92!
Jeff's e-mail address is: 1954jbergie AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")